Tuscan Pork Chops with Spring Kale

This succulent entrée gets its distinctive flavor, and it's name, from the variety of kale called for in the recipe. Cavalo nero, or Tuscan kale, originated in — you guessed it — Tuscany, Italy. The Tuscan kale adds a wonderfully spicy note to the mild flavor of pork.



1-1/2 to 2 lbs of pork blade roast
1-1/2 lbs cavalo nero, Tuscan kale, dinosaur kale or other kale or mustard green
1/3 cup olive oil
4 tbsp fennel seed
4 whole cloves garlic, peeled
Salt to taste


Preparation time: 90 minutes.

1. Coarsely grind the fennel seed with 1-1/2 tsp of salt. Cut the roast crosswise into slices 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick. Arrange on a plate and season with the salt and fennel seed mixture. Set aside at room temperature for at least 1 hour.

2. Bring a large pot of water to boil. While waiting for the water to heat, strip the stems from the kale, and chop the leaves coarsely. Add the leaves to the boiling water and cook until tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain, towel dry and set aside.

3. Pour olive oil into a large skillet with cover and heat on medium-high. Sauté garlic cloves until just brown. Remove cloves with a slotted spoon and discard. Add chops to hot oil and brown 2 to 3 minutes per side.

4. Transfer pork to an oven-safe dish and place in a warm oven (200˚F). Reduce heat under skillet to low, add kale and coat with the pan drippings, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt.

5. Transfer pork with juices back to the skillet on top of the kale. Cover and cook over low flame until the pork is heated through, about 3 minutes. Serve immediately.